Google Play takes on iTunes/iCloud & Android’s fragmented ecosystem

Google Play

What do you call a brand new Google product that allows you to store multiple files and files formats online…? If you answered Google Drive you’d be wrong, the correct answer is (apparently) Google Play (Google+) .

Google Play

Google Play is the search company’s “digital entertainment destination” that allows you to buy and store movies, music, books and apps in the cloud which can then be accessed online or through Android devices. Yes, it’s effectively iCloud/iTunes for Android.

It’s also an exercise in re-branding the Android Market.  The Android Market app on your smartphone will soon change to become a Google Play Store app while Google Music and Google eBookstore will change into Google Play Music, Google Play Books and Google Play Movies.

Google says that the system will allow you to

  • Store up to 20,000 songs for free and buy millions of new tracks
  • Download more than 450,000 Android apps and games
  • Browse the world’s largest selection of eBooks
  • Rent thousands of your favorite movies, including new releases and HD titles

Although what you’ll get will depend on where you live.  Users in the States will get their hands on the full array of digital audio, video, apps, and books on offer.  Users in the U.K. and Canada will get movies, books and apps through Google Play.  Japanese users will get movies and apps while Australian users will get books and apps.

The rest of us will just get apps and a promise that Google will roll out greater access to audio, video and books in the future.

It looks like the launch of these previously separate services under one brand is part of Larry Page’s rationalisation of Google’s services.  Since late 2011 Page has axed, re-branded or subsumed various Google products; such as its proto-social network Google Buzz (now dead), online image editor Picnik (now part of Google+),  Google Sky Map (handed over to Carnegie Mellon University) and Google Urchin (now dead).

Google Play will take over the Android Market brand in the coming days.

This is the first Google product to be launched since the company amalgamated its privacy policies on March 1.

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Piers Dillon Scott
Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).